Police release name of teenager killed by police after lunging at officers with a knife
John Counts | AnnArbor.com
- Update: Former Huron High School classmate of man shot dead after police chase: 'He was just a normal kid'
- Previous coverage: Police: Suspect shot and killed after charging troopers with knife
- Previous coverage: Fugitive crashes into couple's house: 'We saw a pickup truck right next to the bed'
Northville Township police have released the name of the man shot and killed by a Michigan State Police trooper early Tuesday morning.
Police said Gabriel Vernon Stevenson, an 18-year-old from Ypsilanti, was shot when he lunged at police with a knife after a chase Tuesday morning.
John Werth, director of the Northville Township Department of Public Safety, released a statement Tuesday afternoon identifying Stevenson. Michigan State Police originally said a 20-year-old man was killed in the Tuesday morning incident.
Police shot Stevenson after he crashed the pickup truck he was driving into a home at Six Mile and Dixboro roads in rural Northfield Township in Livingston County.
“The suspect exited the vehicle and attempted to enter the home (by) breaking a window,” Werth said in the release. “The suspect was confronted by Northville Township, Michigan State Police and other agencies. The suspect advanced toward and lunged at officers with a knife and was fatally shot.”
The series of events that ended with Stevenson's death began at 2:05 a.m. when Northville Township officers were called to investigate an unoccupied vehicle on Napier Road north of Six Mile Road, according to the release. Eighteen minutes later, an explosion was reported in the same area. Officers responding to that call saw the vehicle leaving the area.
Officers conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle on Six Mile Road, and Stevenson, who was driving, fired shots at police before fleeing west on Six Mile in the truck, according to the release. Eventually, Stevenson lost control of the car and crashed into the home in the 7900 block of Dixboro Road, where Six Mile takes a jog to the north before continuing on west.
Stevenson attempted to break into the home by breaking a window, but was confronted by Northville Township, Michigan State Police and other police personnel. Police said he advanced toward officers and lunged with a knife.
A Michigan State Police trooper fired one shot and killed Stevenson. The trooper was authorized to use deadly force, but has been put on administrative leave as a part of the investigation.
At this point, it’s not clear if Stevenson fled from police because of possible involvement in the explosion or another reason. A search of the Offender Tracking Information System did not turn up any results for his name and it’s unknown if he was facing any pending charges.
Michigan State Police Lt. Joel Allen told AnnArbor.com earlier on Tuesday police had been sent to the area of the explosion to investigate a house fire. Allen said there had been arsons or attempted arsons in the area.
News reports that originally reported a car bombing in the area were incorrect, Allen said.
A .22-caliber revolver was found in Stevenson’s truck, Allen said.
Annette Kovala and Kevin McGraw were sleeping in the bedroom of the home when Stevenson’s truck crashed into it. Kovala told AnnArbor.com she looked out the window and saw a pickup truck right next to the bed. Kovala and McGraw were not injured.
A representative from the Northville Township police said Werth was not available for further comment Tuesday afternoon.